NewsLinks is a collection of recent news items relating primarily to the California judicial branch. NewsLinks does not verify nor endorse the accuracy or fairness of the news items, and the views expressed in opinions, editorials, and commentaries are those of the writers only.
(Subscription required) Judge Robert S. Boyd chaired the council's Alternative Dispute Committee and served on other committees, including budget, civil law and the Trial Court Presiding Judges Advisory Committee. He received the Alternative Dispute Resolution Judge of the Year award from the Sonoma County Bar Association in 1999.
The issue in Monday’s 5 to 4 ruling was one of limited impact: whether states have sovereign immunity from private lawsuits in the courts of other states. In 1979, the Supreme Court ruled that there is no constitutional right to such immunity, although states are free to extend it to one another and often do.
(Subscription required) A lawful permanent resident who has lived in the United States since 1972 must be sent back to Mexico, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled, despite having a marijuana-related felony on her record reduced to a misdemeanor under California's recently-enacted Proposition 64.
The new Stanislaus Superior Courthouse in downtown Modesto could be completed and ready for use four years from now, and officials don’t anticipate any delays. Court Chief Executive Officer Hugh Swift said he was informed this week the project is moving forward as planned.
(Subscription required) The budget would add $30.4 million in general funds for the upcoming fiscal year and $36.5 million annually through 2024 to bump up the superior court roster statewide, according to the revision. The judges will be allocated to the necessary counties following a needs assessment by the Judicial Council set for later this summer.
“We’re just so proud of Pleasant Valley’s involvement in the area of civic learning,” said Judge Tamara L. Mosbarger, presiding judge of Butte County’s Superior Court. “We want our children to be involved and understand their civic responsibilities.”
In unveiling his revised budget, Newsom said Cantil-Sakauye has “been rightfully frustrated that we have provided for judges but we haven’t funded the judges. And finally we’re in a position to fund at least 25 judges.”
At a press conference, the governor cited Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye “for her leadership and her stubbornness, which I say very proudly, in demanding that these dollars are there on behalf of the courts.
The budget also puts the state on track to place $16.5 billion in its so-called rainy day fund by next summer, and Newsom stressed the state would have even more money socked away in other reserves to help it manage a downturn when it comes.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) announced a proposed $54 million boost to the budget of the state’s dependency courts, blending an increase in state investment with federal funds newly available for the legal representation of children and families involved in the child welfare system.
Retired Orange County Superior Court Judges Glenn Mahler and James Poole and retired Alameda County Superior Judge Julie Conger filed suit Thursday, claiming that a new 1,320-day cap on service in the program disadvantages older judges who must apply for exceptions to the new lifetime limit. All three of the plaintiffs have already served more than 1,500 days in the program, according to the complaint.
It used to be that the end-of-term calendars (late-May and June) were unusually busy, but that stopped a couple of years ago. This one has only five cases on it. Four of them are criminal matters. All but one have been on the court’s docket for a relatively short time.
“With the stroke of a pen, the governor made a blanket decision to violate the constitutional rights of crime victims, as expressed in Marsy’s Law,” Orange County Dist. Atty. Todd Spitzer said. “He did it because he’s a chicken. If he had followed the process under clemency review, he would have met with each of the victims’ families and heard them, as well as defense attorneys, before making a decision” on granting clemency to a condemned inmate.
Newsom and his team are predicting a $21.5 billion surplus, up slightly from the $21 billion they predicted in January. If trends hold, the state would have a $16.5 billion rainy day fund by next year to help it weather a recession.
(Subscription required) The matter presented an unsettled procedural question as to how precisely a putative class representative must identify his potential fellow plaintiffs, and the method by which they could effectively be noticed of the action, before a class can be certified under California law.
Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, issued a moratorium in March on executions in the state, which has more death row inmates than anywhere else in the Western Hemisphere. But that decision has not stopped local prosecutors from seeking new death sentences, underscoring the divide in the state between conservative prosecutors and liberal reformers like the governor.
(Subscription required) “I really like being a commissioner instead of a judge because I get to talk to people a lot more than lawyers,” she said. But she joked about one key change in speaking with everyday people from the bench. “Everyone told me this, that once you take the bench, all your jokes are funny,” Furbush said.
The story starts about 15 years ago, when the state Judicial Council, the policymaking body of the California court system, identified South County as having an “immediate need” for a new courthouse to replace one in King City.
(Subscription required) In a case that could affect how attorneys handle settlements in California, the state Supreme Court heard arguments on the degree to which attorneys are bound by confidentiality agreements in agreements they negotiate for their clients.
(Subscription required) "The gist of this motion is the court should require the governor to make public the same kinds of clemency supporting material he did in the Wright petition," Burke said. "The fact that Gov. Newsom, in his first request, has sealed even more than Gov. Brown after that order is disturbing."
The $10 million commitment would come from the anticipated increase in general fund revenue through sales, property and transient occupancy taxes related to ongoing developments in the city, such as the Walnut Avenue Specific Plan and the Yanks Air Museum, as well as the cannabis industry.
On Thursday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that workers who believe they should have been classified as employees, as opposed to independent contractors, can file legal claims against companies retroactively under the “Dynamex” standard.
(Subscription required) Judge Jose I. Sandoval specializes in early fixes, so defendants can get back on track — whether in his day job handling low-level felonies in the downtown criminal court or helping out the teen court he has been part of since its inception.
The Supreme Court’s denial of the amici’s modification request was not necessarily — or likely — on the merits. It could have been — and probably was — for other reasons; say, because the retroactivity issue was raised only by an amicus and/or wasn’t raised until the rehearing petition stage.
Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye and Judicial Council Administrative Director Martin Hoshino met with court leadership and staff from the Monterey Superior Court last week to learn how the court is implementing “Access 3D”-- physical access, remote access, and equal access for all court users.